The Zimcommunity Health Promotion and Capacity Building Project

 

Project Background

 

Migrant communities experience drastic changes in their way of life, culture, and demographic settings when they settle in a new country. This has been particularly so with members of the Zimbabwean community who have chosen to settle in Australia. Away from the close support of family, friends and familiar social networks, and often having to completely restart their social and working life patterns that at times involve career changes, many community members at some stage suffer from mild to serious mental and physical health issues.

 

Among those, depression and anxiety is often prevalent as people spend excessively long hours at work in order to support their families both in Australia and overseas. This leads to a vicious cycle that is also characterized by lack of recreation, limited social interaction, poor diet that causes obesity and cardiovascular health problems; all often compounded by poor coping mechanisms, lack of information and access to the availability of social services.

 

Moreover, the youth who are accustomed to being brought up under extended family settings, with well-defined cultural and upbringing practices, often find themselves ‘lost’, in the new Westernized society and thus very prone to major problems such as drugs and alcohol abuse, as well as criminal activities.

 

Therefore in light of the noted prevalence of such issues with the community, the Zimcommunity Health and Capacity Building Phase II Regional, thus aims to specifically address the following issues:

1. Mental Health

2. Physical Activity

3. Healthy Eating

4. Overworking

5. Social Inclusion

 

Project Aims and Outcomes

 

The key objectives are as follows:

  1. To promote mental health of community members using the social model of health. This model recognizes the importance of social connectedness, social inclusion and dialogue.
  2. Provision of health counselling and information services, as well as social infrastructure to support physical and mental health promotion goals.
  3. To provide a platform for social and as well as professional interaction for both youths and adult members of the community.

 

Project Participants

 1)     Adults from the Zimbabwean community. Emphasis will also be made on the participation of women.

2)     Youths from the Zimbabwean community.

3)     Adults and youths from any other refugee, and newly arrived communities.

4)     Members from the Australian society who are interested in building social networks and learning about the cultural heritage of CALD communities